Friday, May 2, 2014

Dirty Money

I recently read a most interesting article in Florida Today, my local newspaper, entitled “Why You Shouldn’t Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is”

The opening words are “Talk about dirty money.” I could not put the paper down until I read every word. No, it was not about dishonesty. I write often enough about leaches who find ways and means of getting reimbursements from CMS and Medicare that have not been earned. Those people are outright thieves and we must find a better method to keep them out of DME.

Researchers at NYU identified more than 3,000 types of bacteria on one-dollar ($1) bills. That is only a “small” number since they reported there are so many microorganisms have not yet been identified. We are passing germs back and forth to one-another all the time.

A dollar bill in the United States stays in circulation for about 21 months. Coins can always be used (just see how much some older coins are worth today). It costs the Federal Reserve $826 million annually to replace 7.8 billion bank notes. Using coins (as they do in the UK and Europe) will save sufficient dollars annually which perhaps can then be used to speed up reimbursements to DME/HME dealers.

A couple years ago, when the one-dollar coins were first minted, I started to use them. Initially there was a great deal of “what is this you are giving me,” and I had to explain that it is an American dollar. Today I no longer carry many green bills. I try to use coin dollars almost exclusively. These have been recognized as “coins of the realm.”

I am now really pleasantly surprised to see how they have been accepted. So, I say that as health care professionals, we can help bring about a change (not small change!), in how money is handled. No more dirty money!

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